ISLAMABAD: Within the past few months, Pakistan’s mobile gaming industry has seen some very innovative products, which were not only a good time pass but were inspired by current events – case in point: Gullu and Container Run.
However, the newest entrant to the market is the game that has been making a lot of hype on Facebook, ‘Run Sheeda Run’.
With a tagline of “World’s most Pakistani game,” Run Sheeda Run is an endless runner game, much like the famous Temple Run series and Subway Surfer. The game is based on the universe of Sheeda and Chicken, which also include daily online comic strips.
Dawn managed to acquire an alpha version of the game to test the game play and be amazed by its ingenuity.
The best thing about this game is the intense dose of ‘desiness’ packed inside a fun-filled game which will have you on the edge of your seat for hours.
The main characters of the game are Sheeda, a not-so-smart 12-year-old boy from Lahore who aspires to become a cricketer one day, and his pet talking chicken, which is surprisingly very intellectual.
There is also a villain in the game named Bashir Khattak – also known as ‘Kasai’ (butcher).
There are also many supporting characters in the game’s storyline, such as Sheeda’s family and friends, who will eventually make an appearance in the later releases of the game.
The game starts with a comic-based narrative in which the players find out that the chicken has been stolen by Kasai and is destined to be turned into a gourmet dish.
The chicken, however, escapes from Kasai’s hands and thus begins the never-ending run for it.
The players can swipe their smartphone screens to make Sheeda turn, jump, slide and glide in order to get away from the butcher.
It’s fascinating to see Sheeda run amid what seems like a cleaner version of old city of Lahore – there is even a silhouette of Minar-i-Pakistan in the background.
There are roadblocks, street signs, hawkers, cars and even trucks to avoid during the run. The streets are lined with policemen and passersby dressed in traditional Shalwar Kameez.
Sheeda has to collect coins that are dispersed on the roads of the city which also help in purchasing add-ons eventually.
There are also unlabelled boxes floating on the running path which can also help Sheeda acquire special powers, even a richshaw, to run faster.
The game ends when Sheeda crashes into one of the hurdles or the walls of the surrounding shops and houses.
With all its wonders, the game does include certain bugs.
One of the bugs that we noted was that the game does not end when a rickshaw crashes into a wall.
Similarly, the map of the game does not seem dynamic and does not change for every new run.
However, the commercial release of the game will see a lot of improvements, and hopefully the bugs will reduce.
It is also hoped that the final version of the game will include more characters and some hidden Easter eggs, for added fun.
The interesting thing about Run Sheeda Run is that it has been entirely developed in-house by a team of 10 developers at the We.R.Play studios, over a period of six months.
The graphics of the game are at par with all the modern mobile games that are available on App Store or Google Play.
According to Syed Muzamil Hassan Zaidi, the marketing coordinator for We.R.Play, the beta version of the game is scheduled to be launched on September 13.
Mobile gaming enthusiasts can sign up for the beta version at the studio’s official website, or can also follow the directions given at the end of the Run Sheeda Run trailer, which can be seen at the game’s Facebook page. The official release of the game is scheduled around the end of this month.
“The game is going to be free of cost, there may be some in-app purchases eventually, but for now it’s going to be completely free,” said Zaidi, adding, “Initially, this game will be launched on Android platform, followed by its release on iOS and Windows Mobiles in a few months.”
Caution: Run Sheeda Run is highly addictive and can lead the players to forget the concept of time.
Published in Dawn, September 9th , 2014